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Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE) was awarded a $250,000 research grant from PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America. Funding will support a year-long program that will provide research and analysis to address the lack of representation of people of color and other marginalized groups within the animal welfare industry.

CARE’s work will include surveys, analysis, and the publication of research surrounding:

· Biases within the animal welfare industry

· Impact of AWO policies on people of color

· Expansion/revision of the study supporting The Under-representation of African American Employees in Animal Welfare Organizations in the United States [Brown, S.E., (2005). Society & Animals Journal, 153-162.]

This grant helps provide accessible, equitable DEI resources for the Animal Welfare Industry, alongside a CARE Coach that will create relevant, changing content and individualized feedback. On completion of the course work, CARE will provide an industry first DEI Certification. Additionally, this will support the hiring of an Inclusion Training Team to create accessible, cost-effective platforms for all types of AWOs, regardless of size or financials.

“We’re honored and humbled to receive this grant from PetSmart Charities; their reputation and track record are truly best in class,” said CARE President James Evans. “We look forward to providing clear insights and actionable inroads, as it relates to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the animal welfare industry.”

“The research and training resources produced by CARE will provide important insight and actionable ways to address the inequity and bias against pets and pet parents in BIPOC communities, and we’re proud to support these efforts,” said Aimee Gilbreath, President, PetSmart Charities. “The ability to recognize ways animal welfare initiatives have created barriers for these communities will ensure they are better served and allow the industry to become more inclusive.”

“The lack of diversity in the animal welfare industry has been a long-standing problem,” added Evans. “There’s never been a better time to address the underlying systemic inequities, which created and perpetuated such a glaring racial imbalance.”